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Got to decide whether to go back to work by tomorrow - yikes!!!

(23 Posts)
pinkdelight Tue 15-Jul-08 10:07:42

I've been dithering about whether to go back to work since ds was born 9 months ago and tomorrow I've got a meeting with the boss to finally tell her whether I'm going back or handing my notice in. And I still don't know!! I know that only I can decide, but so far I haven't been able to and am just hoping that I'll have a gut feeling when I go there, as to whether I really want to or not. But in the meantime, any insights would be welcome.

I realise I'm lucky to have the choice (I'll be skint if I don't go back, but we can manage), but I think that is what's making it harder. If I had to go back for the money, there wouldn't be a decision to make. Has anyone else had this kind of dilemma? If you had the option of staying at home, would you? I do other bits of freelance work from home so I'm not worried about not getting enough stimulation. It's mostly a sense of loyalty to my boss and the security of a permanent position that are in favour of going back. But then ds is my first baby and I could really regret missing this time with him. Aaargh! What would you do/have you done?

pinkdelight Tue 15-Jul-08 10:11:09

I should add - the job is only part-time, 2 days a week. I know this isn't much, but my freelance work takes up at least another day, so it would mean putting ds in childcare for a minimum 3 days. Oh dear, I'm talking myself out of it now. But then it seems so ungrateful, giving up a good part-time job that others would kill for. You can see how I've been dithering so long!

shinyshoes Tue 15-Jul-08 10:21:32

If you don't 'need' the money couldn't you take the full 52 weeks then make a descision as tho whether or not to go back? I am on mat leave and my money was used to pay for treats, days out, takeaways, nice things. We have been living off of DH money but that's all we are doing is living there are now no treats etc, but we are managing, I am taking the full 52 weeks then I am making my mind up. Do you have to make a decision today?

SazzlesA Tue 15-Jul-08 10:29:53

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pinkdelight Tue 15-Jul-08 10:44:11

Shinyshoes - I'll have taken the full 52 weeks by the time I go back (if I go back) at the start of Sept. I had to let her know by the end of July if I'm handing my notice in, and as I know she's sorting out HR planning this week, I feel I should sort it out now rather than drop her in it in a couple of weeks. Plus as I haven't managed to make my mind yet, I don't think a few more weeks would help. I just have to decide - somehow!

Sazzle - That's a good point about trying it out. I don't have a problem with childcare for two days a week (I already do this some weeks when I have freelance work), but three days just pushes it a bit for me. Interesting about it being a lot to cope with as they get older. That's another thing that makes it hard to decide - I love being with him now, but they do get more exhausting, don't they? And perhaps he'd have more fun at nursery than with me.

pinkdelight Tue 15-Jul-08 10:45:42

PS: Shinyshoes - it sounds like you're in a similar boat to me financially. I know you're waiting to make your mind up, but what is your current thinking about going back to work?

shinyshoes Tue 15-Jul-08 11:06:31

I still don't know, I haven't got to go back til just after christmas so I have plenty of time.
I think it helps to go back to a job you at least semi-enjoy, I don't enjoy it much, it's rather boring, it's the hours that are crap.

I am now a Qualified Teaching Assistant and have been volunteering in the school for 3 years. I am putting in an application then if I'm successful then I will probably take it, although it's only 6.5 hours a week, like I said I don't 'need' the money so 1 hour a day plus 1.5 hours flexi is fine and i'll be doing something rewarding and enjoying and fits in nicely with family life. But if I have to go back to my original job then I seriously don't know. Although we can survive on DH wages it literally leaves nothing for treats, days out, this is fine by me but I have 3 other children to consider and entertain and I think I would eventually end up getting tired of having nothing and wanting to go back just to earn money for treats and eventually a holiday abroad.

The job I might/might not go back to in is flexible (can choose which 3 days I work, 1 has to be an evening though), easy, too easy thats the problem, and not very stimulating on the body or brain, but it's easy and very good money for old rope. I am unlikely to get this anywhere else.

so do I
a)go back to a job I don't really enjoy for the sake of the money we don't need.

b)do something I do enjoy for very little money (thats if I get the job)

decisions decisions.

Good luck with whatever decision you make

smile

pinkdelight Tue 15-Jul-08 14:47:12

Thanks Shiny, believe it or not that does really help, just knowing that there's never an ideal scenario and always a tricky decision to be made. I do enjoy the job, mostly, but it is still work so I worry that if I go back, as soon as I have a crap day I'll regret not being at home with him instead. I seem to be leaning more strongly towards giving it up, but your phrase 'I am unlikely to get this anywhere else' also strikes a chord. It is quite a jammy job with a nice company for good money. But as you say, if the money isn't absolutely needed...

flowerybeanbag Tue 15-Jul-08 14:50:16

Just to mention, you only have to give whatever your normal notice period is if you don't want to come back.

I understand your boss might want to know now for planning purposes, but if, for example, your normal notice period is a month, you don't have to tell her more than a month before your 52 weeks are up.

I know what you mean about having to make a decision at some point and it won't be any easier in a few weeks, but just thought worth mentioning.

Sidge Tue 15-Jul-08 14:54:33

I would go back. You can always resign if you find it's not working out, but if you don't go back you have cut out that option if you know what I mean.

Working 2-3 days a week is lovely, as you will get quality time with your DS but also some grown up time as well, and he will probably love nursery (or whatever childcare you arrange).

pinkdelight Tue 15-Jul-08 15:03:19

"if you don't go back you have cut out that option"

That's a really good point. What if I quite and then suddenly the jobless future looms large and I can't stand it?? But isn't it messing them about even more to go back and then quit? God I'm so flaky these days. I think I'd feel less worried if there weren't all these threads about how hard it is to find work after being a SAHM. Perhaps I should seek out some positive stories where people have taken the risk of giving up work and never regretted it.

micegg Tue 15-Jul-08 15:38:22

why not set yourself a time limit. Say 6 months and to see if you like it/ it's working out and take it from there. I went back after DD and or the most part enjoyed the time away, the extra money, etc. I only worked 3 days so I didnt miss out on seeing her. I probably wont go back this time as it makes no financial sense now that we have 2 sets of childcare to pay for.

Fizzylemonade Tue 15-Jul-08 18:10:54

I went back to work part-time and managed to get in 26 weeks exactly before we moved (so I got to keep my maternity pay which was very generous)

Due to Dh earning more and ds1 being very upset about the move to new area/house etc (he was 16 months) I left looking for work for a while.

After a few months of having a limpet child I put him into nursery for 1 day a week to get my foot in the door and did then look for work but when we did the number crunching we realised that we were managing fine on one wage and I was loving my time with ds1.

So I did become a sahm and now have ds2 aged 2 and ds1 is 5 and just finishing reception.

I don't regret it BUT I did experience working and being home is a bit lonely when you don't have any social interaction with adults for large chunks of the day.

I would "suck it and see" grin you can always quit and still have your freelance work. Give yourself a deadline and write down your thoughts and feelings so that you can assess them with a cool head.

pinkdelight Tue 15-Jul-08 19:01:18

Thanks for that Fizzy. Good to hear you've no regrets. And thanks everyone for your help. I will (try to) sleep on it and see how I feel when I step through the door tomorrow...

SazzlesA Tue 15-Jul-08 19:25:18

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twinkleymum Wed 16-Jul-08 11:32:00

What did you decide? I've had a moment of clarity on my current job decision (i.e. return to old job or new one I may be offered), think about how you would react if they said you dont have to go back. For me I'm just thinking if this new job phoned and said I was unsuccessful I think I'd be relieved, if they said I was successful I would still be in a state of confusion, so surely there's my answer.

rebelmum1 Wed 16-Jul-08 11:42:02

I wouldn't have if I didn't need to. I took a year off, 6 months unpaid. Can you ask for the rest of the year unpaid?

rebelmum1 Wed 16-Jul-08 11:43:45

I believe you are entitled to a year, you could say that you will go back then... but then change your mind. You will burn bridges.

pinkdelight Wed 16-Jul-08 14:42:45

So... I still didn't manage to decide and instead just talked honestly to my boss and set out my situation. I needn't have worried so much - she was brilliant and offered all kinds of suggestions to accommodate me. We've agreed I can go freelance for the time being and just do some project work here and there, working from home if that's easier, and then when ds is older we can reconsider me going back to my old job. I feel so lucky and so relieved to have such an understanding boss. It's still a bit scary giving up the secure job, but I think I'd feel a bit trapped if I'd agreed to go back even part-time. Thanks all for bearing with me! And v glad you've had moment of clarity twinkley. Long may it continue...

Gateau Wed 16-Jul-08 15:11:56

You are VERY lucky to have such an understandable boss. On that basis, I would seriously consider working something with her and keeping my hand in.

twinkleymum Wed 16-Jul-08 20:51:34

Thanks pinkdelight, but my moment of clarity faded in the afternoon when they phoned back and offered me the job offering 5 mornings per week. My old job offered 3 whole days (9-5.30) and the thought of leaving my DD that long at a time makes me feel very sad. However 9-12.45 doesn't sound so bad. I just want to do what's best for her and in the long term I also think mornings would be better ie school (although long way off). They have given me another day to consider it as this possibility wasn't mentioned before.

LIZS Thu 17-Jul-08 18:06:30

eek , what have you decided ? tbh I think half days may be more of a pita than a benefit. You have 5 lots of travel costs and no day on which to have a lie in, slower start and plan for yourselves. Also most toddler activities are in the mornings.

twinkleymum Thu 17-Jul-08 18:34:13

SO decided to go for the mornings on the condition that I get a place in the nursery there. Still waiting for an answer. Told my boss I was considering this new position, he was not too pleased, but did agree that I have to do what is right for us. I think it will be a pita for me to get out 5 days a week but easier for DD, so I'll cope. I never get a lie in anyway as DH works shifts so I'm always up by 7 each day, DD has never heard of a lie in! Its annoying that I'm still waiting will phone again tomorrow.

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